George W. Bush's foreign policy explicitly promises U.S. support for Muslim moderates who confront radicalism. In 2000, Muslims gave overwhelming support to Mr. Bush, in part because he, unlike Al Gore, had bothered to court them. Last year it was a different story. Spurred mainly, according to opinion polls, by the humiliation of Muslims at Abu Ghraib and by what they regarded as indifference to their sensitivities by the new Department of Homeland Security, Muslims turned against the president. A new political action group, called the American Muslim Task Force on Civil Rights, representing 10 Muslim organizations, called on Muslims to register a protest by voting for John Kerry.
That is in the fine tradition of minorities trying to make themselves heard in politics. But Muslims haven't stopped there. A group called the Muslim Public Affairs Council is trying to promote better relations between Muslims and law-enforcement agencies. To that end it has launched its own counterterrorism and civil-rights campaign, working with imams at mosques, Muslim community leaders, law-enforcement agencies and the media. Their credo: "It is our duty as American Muslims to protect our country and to contribute to its betterment."
The executive director of MPAC is Salam al-Marayati, a Baghdad-born former chemical engineer long engaged in Democratic politics in Los Angeles. He and two colleagues, Ahmed Younis and Edina Lekovic, dropped by the Journal's New York office last week to talk about their project. Ms. Lekovic, a Montenegrin by ancestry, is the group's spokeswoman. Mr. Younis, national director, has studied in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Cuba. He wrote a book titled "Voir Dire (Speak the Truth)," discussing the blending of American culture and Islamic values, while studying law at Washington and Lee University.
Mr. al-Marayati is relatively upbeat about the status of Muslims in the U.S., particularly in comparison to Europe. "In Europe, they tend to become 'ghettoized' because they are never really accepted," he said. In the U.S., Muslims are more easily assimilated and find it easier to work within the system.
The friction between a large Muslim immigrant population and the native peoples of Europe has become a major political problem. Muslims appear to be increasingly alienated from the societies in which they live, turning in many cases toward crime and violence. But Europe, with a declining indigenous work force, needs their labor.
Regarding MPAC, there is this post from Little Green Footballs.
Dhimmi Watch takes note of a disturbingly naïve whitewash of radical Islamic front group MPAC and its leader Salam Al-Marayati, in today’s Wall Street Journal: Dhimmitude at the Wall Street Journal: the Journal touts MPAC.
Salam Al-Marayati is notorious for telling radio station KCRW, within hours of the September 11 mass murder: “If we’re going to look at suspects we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what’s happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies.”
CAMERA has a long list of similar statements by Al-Marayati, supporting extremist movements and terrorist groups, vilifying Israel, and condemning US anti-terrorism measures. It’s disappointing to see the Wall Street Journal participating in MPAC’s propaganda campaign.